Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Friday, April 27, 2012

When is enough, really enough?

I know, personally for myself - I can handle about 4-5 hours of Ryan a day. That sounds super rude, I know.. and you are thinking, " you are married, you are supposed to love that person, want to be with him... blah blah". Alright, let me explain myself better.

I love Ryan, like loser-love super crazy love Ryan, but we need our own time, and I don't care what anyone says, being with someone CONSTANTLY can drive the both of you crazy. I look at beautiful elderly couples together, holding hands - and I think to myself, how sweet!.. full well knowing they just don't have the energy to piss each other off anymore ;)

So, when I compare being around the same people constantly, I want to compare this relationship, in part, to what Owen is going through at school with the other little man with ASD. Owen and his friend with ASD, they have a brother-brother relationship together. Let me explain some of their day;

- Used to sit on either side of the EA during circle times, both with their fidget boxes with toys to keep them occupied, as in Owen's case - circle time has always been difficult since preschool.

*Update* Owen has been integrated into circle time with his "typical" peers, and only 1 fidget toy is allowed. :) SO happy.

- Both boys have the same EA that they share, and are both very attached to their EA, morning and afternoon. Owen will get jealous with the other boy if (for example) is integrated into circle time, and the other boy is still sitting with the EA and Owen is not.

- Both boys follow the same routine, regarding picture scheduling, activities.

- Cubbies are located beside each other.

- They actually love each other - but get sick of each other. :)

There have been several incidents where one or the other is being upset, when the playing goes too far - and this is leading to Owen being upset, having tantrums in the middle of the class and screaming while he throws himself to the ground and is not redirectable. While we have re directions and accommodation's put in place if Owen is just done with the situation, unfortunately because there is only 1 EA in the room, taking Owen for a, "break" sometimes isn't possible. Which once again, leads all the way back to funding.

I love the staff at Owen's school, we have an open, no nonsense, honest relationship. I feel like I can talk to them about anything, offer any suggestions that I can think up (thank you Bethesda for teaching me those skills) and they do the same. I think when I got the summary of Owen's day yesterday - it bothered me. I feel like in so many ways he has come so far, but then there are some days, like yesterday - which reminds me we still have a long journey ahead of us. After reading the breakdown day yesterday, Owen's teacher told me today that not only was he upset with his ASD peer, but his 2 teachers were at a seminar ( so he had 2 supplies) which is hard on a person who needs predictability, routine, and the same faces for comfort.

As I spoke with Owen's EA at the Earth Day Assembly today after Owen rocked singing and actions ( so proud!) we discussed how difficult it is having more than 1 child with Special Needs in those situations, which I totally relate to being at work, it is difficult sometimes, and in those times, you realize what you need and what can help everyone in those situations.

After hearing a rumour for next year, that the Board would like to have ALL the JK/SK's with exceptional needs in the same class (which could be 5-6 kids) with 1 EA, I lost it. There is no way, that 1 EA can:

-keep all 5 children safe at the same time, even if she had eyes in the back of her head, it is difficult. I know how fast Owen can sneak out of the classroom, I have seen it!
-make sure all of them have completed their tasks, did it properly, sensory needs are being met, some may have toileting needs.... which gives Owen perfect amount of time to run out of the room when no one is watching.

and the list goes on. There is no way. I am telling you right now.. I will fight for these kids like I did for Owen this year, it is becoming worse and worse with funding for Special Needs students, the teachers that have 30+ kids in their classrooms, and the EA's, and our children are not going to suffer to save a buck.

Fighting the good fight...always.

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